Anush Hovhannisyan: An Evening of Opera & Song

Anush Hovhannisyan © Ed Choo

Opera Caledonia is delighted to present “Anush Hovhannisyan: An Evening of Opera & Song” – an enthralling evening of music making set in the glorious surroundings of Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall, one of Scotland’s premier independent live music venues, on Saturday 2nd September 2023.

Armenian soprano Anush Hovhannisyan, described by The Sunday Times as a “scene stealing operatic leading lady”, makes a triumphant return to Scotland following recent performances at opera houses including Welsh National Opera, Royal Danish Opera, Opéra de Paris and The Royal Opera House Covent Garden.

She will be joined by esteemed Italian conductor and pianist, Maestro Leonardo Catalanotto alongside principal string players from The Orchestra of Scottish Opera: Anthony Moffat, Katie Hull, Lev Atlas and Martin Storey.

Together, they will perform an exciting programme of Puccini, Dvořák, Tchaikovsky, Berg, Mascagni and Gershwin – an evening of music suitable for opera aficionados and first-timers alike. Derek Clark, Scottish Opera’s celebrated former Head of Music, will guide the audience through the evening, providing background to the pieces performed and putting them into their musical context.

Tickets are on sale now and available via The Queen’s Hall Box Office in person, online and via telephone.

Anush Hovhannisyan: An Evening of Opera & Song
Saturday 2nd September 2023 – 7.30pm
The Queen’s Hall • Edinburgh
85-89 Clerk Street, EH8 9JG
£14.00 – £27.00 (booking fee applies)
Running time: approx 90mins incl. interval
book online at The Queen’s Hall
Tel: 0131 668 2019

Primary Sponsor: Specsavers Cameron Toll
Additional financial support: Tim Wright Fine Violins
with generous sponsorship support from Mark Neillings & 3MC Property

The Times named Anush Hovhannisyan “The Face to Watch in Opera 2020” followed by the Opera Magazine featuring her as the cover for 2020 July/August issue. Nominated for the 2018 International Opera Awards, Soprano Anush Hovhannisyan made a name for herself as one of the brightest young sopranos of her generation followed by her highly acclaimed debut with Scottish Opera as Violetta La Traviata, which seen The Sunday Times acclaiming “a ‘star is born’ moment.” Anush represented Armenia at BBC Cardiff Singer of the World 2017 broadcasted to millions of audiences on the BBC channels worldwide. She is the Winner of the First Prize, Deutsche Grammophon and Royal Danish Opera special prizes at the 2016 Stella Maris Competition and the 1st Prize Winner of the 2014 Concours Suisse Ernst Haefliger International Swiss Competition. She started her career as a member of the Jette Parker Young Artist Programme between 2013 and 2015 when she extensively performed at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden. She has worked with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden, Welsh National Opera, Scottish Opera, Opera North, Philharmonia Orchestra, Opera Holland Park, Opera Rara, BBC Proms. She has worked with renowned conductors of our times such as Semyon Bychkov, Gianluigi Gelmetti, Nicola Luisotti, Daniel Oren, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Sir Mark Elder, Carlo Rizzi and Sir Antonio Pappano. Anush graduated from the Yerevan State Conservatory and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland supported by the ABRSM scholarship. She is a Samling Artist, winner of the Clonter Opera Prize, the Bayreuth Prize from the Wagner Society of Scotland and the Karaviotis Prize at the Les Azuriales International Singing Competition.

On her return to Scotland, Anush comments: Having trained and received my professional big break in Scotland, I am hugely looking forward to being back … for a one off gala concert in Edinburgh. As the Patron of Opera Caledonia, I am excited to collaborate with a number of my favourite musicians including the brilliant Italian conductor/pianist Leonardo Catalanotto as well as Tony, Katie, Lev and Martin from the Orchestra of Scottish Opera, on stage at The Queen’s Hall Edinburgh. We have prepared a programme that will please a wide range of music fans from regular opera punters to art song lovers and beyond. This will be a festive reunion of friends; like-minded musicians from different lands coming together in Edinburgh … to share our favourite music with the precious audience of our beloved Scotland.”

Anush Hovhannisyan as Musetta in The Royal Opera House Covent Garden's La bohème ©Tristram Kenton

Following his first visit to perform for Opera Caledonia in June 2022, Maestro Leonardo Catalanotto is delighted to return to Scotland in September: “I am incredibly excited to be returning to Scotland to collaborate with Anush and the wonderful musicians from the Orchestra of Scottish Opera. This will be a very special evening of music making and I am looking forward to once again performing for a Scottish audience.”

Described by Zubin Mehta (who he regularly assists in Florence) as “having great experience in his work”, Leonardo Catalanotto was born in Caracas in 1966. He earned his diploma in Orchestra Conducting at the Accademia Musicale Pescarese under the guidance of Donato Renzetti. His work in Opera began in 1993 as Substitute Maestro and Assistant Conductor at the Teatro Massimo “V. Bellini” of Catania. He has since been invited many times to the theatres such as the “Massimo” of Palermo, “Rossini Opera Festival” of Pesaro and by theatres in Düsseldorf, Lisbon, Seville and Geneva. In Florence at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino he has worked as Stage Musical Director for Verdi’s Trilogy and, successively, assisted Maestro Zubin Mehta, for the productions of Die Frau ohne Schatten, La Forza del Destino, Tosca, Tristan und Isolde, Rigoletto and Don Carlo and Maestro Fabio Luisi for Cardillac. He was assistant to Jesùs Lòpez Cobos at the “Teatro Real” of Madrid for Macbeth and to Lorin Maazel for Il Barbiere di Siviglia and to Myung-Whun Chung for Simon Boccanegra. He has conducted in Japan the Gunma Symphony Orchestra in a highly received concert “Opera without words!” and in Shanghai, the Oriental Symphony Orchestra of the Oriental Art Center. He is regularly invited to China at the Conservatory of Music of Shenyang and in Japan in Sapporo, Shizuoka, Osaka, and Tokyo to give lessons on Italian Opera repertoire for lyric singers.  He has worked at the National Center of the Performing Arts of Beijing as a Singing Coach for Rigoletto, L’Elisir d’amore, Le Nozze di Figaro and Norma. In addition to conducting numerous symphonic concerts, he has recently conducted Madama Butterfly, Aida, Tosca, La Cenerentola, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi, La Bohème, Il Barbiere di Siviglia, L’Elisir d’amore, Don Giovanni and La Prova di un’Opera Seria at the Trieste’s Opera House. At the Bellini Opera House in Catania: Le Nozze di Figaro (as cembalo director), Lucia di Lammermoor, Il Turco in Italia, La Rondine, La Straniera and La Capinera.

Leonardo Catalanatto
Leonardo Catalanotto conducting at The Teatro Massimo Bellini, Catania

Anthony Moffat, Katie Hull, Lev Atlas and Martin Storey all hold principal positions within the Orchestra of Scottish Opera: Leader, Assistant Leader, Principal Viola and Principal ‘Cello respectively. Collectively, they have served as principal players with many of the world’s leading orchestras including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the Hallé Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden amongst others. Their orchestral commitments are in addition to their work as both chamber musicians and soloists in which capacity they have performed across the UK and beyond.

Opera Caledonia is delighted to have received primary sponsorship from Specsavers Cameron Toll.

Jonathan Bell, audiology director at Specsavers Cameron Toll, says: “We’re delighted to be sponsoring Opera Caledonia’s performance of Anush Hovhannisyan at The Queen’s Hall later this year. This partnership will allow us to work alongside one of Scotland’s most exciting new opera companies to ensure everyone who wishes to enjoy live musical performances can do so, while looking after their ear health.”

Joe Alubaid, retail director of Specsavers Cameron Toll, adds: “We’re thrilled to be working alongside Opera Caledonia ahead of their performance in September and we can’t wait to get involved with plenty of exciting activities in the lead-up to the main event”. 

Opera Caledonia is incredibly grateful to have the financial support of Tim Wright Fine Violins.

Edinburgh based Tim Wright Fine Violins believes that every musician deserves a top-quality instrument at a fair price. Everything they do is guided by this principle. They know that their instruments are top-quality because Tim, a former professional violinist, plays every instrument that they consider offering for sale. If it doesn’t sound great, they don’t stock it.

Tim and Helen understand the process of finding the perfect instrument. They believe that visiting a violin dealer should be a relaxed affair. They are a friendly family business and they don’t push for custom: if the instrument is perfect for you then you won’t need any further persuasion.

Tim Wright Fine Violins
28-30 Marchmont Crescent
Edinburgh EH9 1HG
Tel: 0131 662 0975
Email: tim@wrightviolins.com

Web: www.wrightviolins.com

This concert has received additional, and much appreciated, sponsorship support from Mark Neillings and 3MC Property.

Programme: “Quando m’en vo” from Puccini’s La bohème • “Vissi d’arte” from Puccini’s Tosca • “Donde lieta usci” from Puccini’s La bohème • Puccini’s “Crisantemi” • “Mesicku na nebi hlubokém” (Song to the Moon) from Dvořák’s Rusalka • “Uzh polnoch bilizitsa” from Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades • Berg’s “Seven Early Songs” • “Intermezzo” from Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana • “Summertime” from Gershwin’s Porgy & Bess • “The Man I Love” from Gershwin’s Lady Be Good • Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm”.

Tickets are on sale now and available via The Queen’s Hall Box Office in person, online and via telephone.

Children aged 8 and above are welcome to attend this recital. They must have their own ticket and sit next to an accompanying, paying adult. The Queen’s Hall is an accessible venue, creating a safe and welcoming environment for all. You can find out more about access information via The Queen’s Hall website. Tickets are non-refundable. Artists and programme are subject to alteration.

Anush Hovhannisyan: An Evening of Opera & Song
Saturday 2nd September 2023 – 7.30pm
The Queen’s Hall • Edinburgh
85-89 Clerk Street, EH8 9JG
£14.00 – £27.00 (booking fee applies)
Running time: approx 90mins incl. interval
book online at The Queen’s Hall
Tel: 0131 668 2019